27th May 2020

With conferences cancelled worldwide due to COVID-19, many are being staged virtually, including the International Communication Association’s 70th conference, originally slated for the Gold Coast.

Held from 20-26 May, #ICA20 was a fully digital affair. Researchers from around the world shared work in health care, politics, the digital divide, privacy, community advocacy, propaganda, misinformation, governance and regulation, climate change communication, human rights, artificial intelligence, automated journalism, censorship, media literacy, streaming services, online extreme speech, our love affair with phones, family life in the digital age, and much more.

ICA President, QUT’s Professor Terry Flew, said the theme for 2020 was ‘Open Communication’ and 31 new ICA Fellows were appointed, including two media academics from QUT.

Distinguished Professor Stuart Cunningham

“Just because we couldn’t host the conference in the traditional sense, we were determined not to let COVID-19 stop a gathering of the world’s leading scholars in the field of human communication,” said Professor Flew.

“ICA 2020 was also an opportunity for us to announce our new Fellows, two of whom are my colleagues in QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre – Distinguished Professor Stuart Cunningham and Professor Amanda Lotz.

“Both are currently in the middle of a three-year Australian Research Council Discovery Project - Internet-distributed television: Cultural, industrial and policy dynamics. Along with Dr Ramon Lobato, Senior Research Fellow, RMIT, they are investigating the impact of global subscription video-on-demand platforms on national television markets.

Professor Amanda Lotz

“COVID-19 has certainly brought that research further to the fore as consumers seek new distractions and forms of entertainment while they abide by restrictions and social isolation rules.”

Professor Cunningham is one of Australia's leading proponents of the new and applied humanities, internationally regarded for his work on the relevance of media, communications and cultural studies to industry practice and government policy.

An acclaimed American media studies expert, Professor Lotz joined QUT Creative Industries Faculty’s School of Communication and Digital Media Research Centre as a Capacity Building Professor in early 2019.

Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 3151, amanda.weaver@qut.edu.au

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901, media@qut.edu.au


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